Hearing aids are an investment in your hearing health, but the hefty price tag might not be in your budget. Traditional in-office hearing aids may come at a considerable cost, with some brands charging up to $4,000 per device. To expand consumer access to hearing aids and improve affordability, the FDA has established a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids.
Effective October 17, 2022, OTC hearing aids are available directly to consumers, generating potential cost savings for individuals with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. OTC hearing aids do not require professional advice, fitting, adjustment, or maintenance. SeniorLiving.org’s team of experts will continue to update our OTC analysis and hands-on reviews as additional FDA-registered OTC hearing aids continue to hit the market.
Along with these newly released OTC hearing aids, there are FDA-registered online hearing aids that can be purchased from the comfort of your home. Let’s dive into which OTC hearing aids and online hearing aids surpassed the competition.
Lexie’s three OTC hearing aids are priced at a fraction of what you’d pay for a prescription hearing aid at your local audiologist’s office. The latest model, the B2 Powered by Bose, is $999 per pair, and the B1 Powered by Bose is $849 per pair. The company’s lowest-priced pair, the Lexie Lumen, is $799.
If paying in full is a stretch for your budget, Lexie offers a 24-month subscription plan for shoppers who purchase directly through Lexie. There’s a one-time, nonrefundable security payment, and then you’ll pay for your hearing aids in monthly installments. For example, the B2 OTC hearing aid is $49 per month for 24 months. The monthly subscription option includes free batteries, extra accessories, and a protection plan.
Shopping Tip: Looking for other ways to purchase a Lexie model? Lexie Lumen OTC hearing aids can be purchased at Walgreens. All three Lexie models are available at Best Buy.
With adaptive noise reduction, feedback management, and multiple listening environments, Lexie’s line of OTC hearing aids earned high marks. Its hearing aid support is stellar, as Lexie experts are available by video call, phone call, or through the Lexie App on your phone. Talk about setting you up for hearing aid success! Head over to our Lexie hearing aid review for more details on how Lexie’s OTC hearing aids stack up against competitors.
The Jabra Enhance Plus series is priced at $799 per pair, making it comparable to other OTC models.
Jabra Enhance Plus OTC hearing aids are available online and at participating Beltone locations nationwide with no appointment necessary. The Enhance Plus makes customizing your hearing aids, streaming music, and chatting with the grandkids a breeze. The Enhance Plus lasts up to 10 hours on a single charge, so these serve more so as situational aids. If you’re looking for an OTC hearing aid battery that goes the distance, check out the Fio by Lucid Hearing, as it supplies up to 16 hours of rechargeable battery life.
Did You Know? Wondering if you’re wearing your hearing aids correctly? We have you covered with an in-depth look at how to properly put in and remove your hearing aids.
Lucid Hearing’s OTC hearing aid pricing ranges from $199.99 per pair for the Enrich BTE model to $1,699.99 per pair for the Fio ITE model.
Lucid Hearing’s OTC hearing aids are available at various retail outlets, including Sam’s Club and Best Buy; online through Amazon; or on Lucid Hearing’s website. Lucid Hearing’s broad selection of OTC hearing aid models is noteworthy in this new market.
Priced at $199 per pair, Go Hearing’s Go Lite earned our most affordable OTC hearing aid. Keep in mind that as these hearing aids are very affordable, they offer fairly limited features and won’t be suitable for everyone.
Go Hearing OTC hearing aids are available at Best Buy and on the Go Hearing website. This is one of the most economical OTC hearing aids we’ve seen. The rechargeable battery is a powerhouse; it takes just two to three hours to fully charge the hearing aids, and you’ll get up to 30 hours of battery on a single charge. This no-frills OTC option won’t bust your budget and is ideal for older adults on a limited income who are in need of a hearing aid.
FYI: Searching for an affordable OTC hearing aid with more features? Go Hearing also offers the Go Prime (priced at $299 per pair). The Go Prime includes six channels, three preset programs, and noise reduction.
Jabra Enhance’s hearing aid prices range from $1,195 to $1,995 per pair. While these aren’t the cheapest devices on our list, the prices are less expensive than other premium brands like Phonak and ReSound. Plus, Jabra Enhance offers affordable monthly financing options starting as low as $39 per month.
Overall, Jabra Enhance offers high-tech hearing aids with all of the essential features like Bluetooth connectivity, noise-canceling technology, tinnitus management, and a mobile app for easy adjustments. Every pair of Jabra Enhance hearing aids comes with a three-year warranty and three years of follow-up care, so you can easily chat with a doctor and make remote adjustments from the comfort of your own home. With a 100-day risk-free trial, Jabra Enhance makes it easy to take their devices for a test drive. Visit our Jabra Enhance hearing aid review to learn more.
Pro Tip: If you’re one of the 60 million Americans suffering from tinnitus,1 Jabra Enhance has you covered! Jabra Enhance hearing aids include personalized tinnitus management and a Tinnitus Sound Generator, making it a solid choice for our best hearing aids for tinnitus list.
MDHearing’s pricing is refreshingly transparent! MDHearing’s prices range from $499.99 to $799.99 for a single hearing aid. Sales advertised on the MDHearing website often bring the price of the pair down to that of a single hearing aid, saving you hundreds of dollars.
Money-Saving Tip: Right now, MDHearing is offering a buy one, get one free deal on hearing aids, plus $300 off the total price, bringing the cost for a complete set of hearing aids down to less than the cost of one!
With MDHearing, you get high-quality hearing aids at a fraction of the cost of hearing aids purchased in-office. Bonus points go to MDHearing for offering models with long battery life. MDHearing’s team of hearing instrument specialists guides you through the process of setting up and customizing your hearing aid. Plus, every hearing aid has free shipping and a 45-day trial, so there’s no risk in seeing if they’ll meet your needs. To learn more about this company, read our MDHearing review.
Pro Tip: Properly caring for your hearing aids is an important part of your hearing health. Check out our in-depth how to clean hearing aids guide for more details.
The cost of Eargo’s hearing aids ranges from $1,450 to $2,950 per pair. If you’re looking for a manufacturer with financing options, you’ll be pleased to know that Eargo offers financing terms for 12-24 months to make their hearing aids more affordable.
Hear better with Eargo’s discreet and comfortable CIC hearing aids. We’re impressed with Eargo’s best-in-class service. After purchasing your Eargo hearing aids over the phone or online, you’ll receive a personalized consultation from a licensed hearing professional via phone, text, email, or video chat. For a look at our experience with Eargo, check out our hands-on Eargo review.
Did You Know? Active military members and veterans are eligible for a 20 percent discount on the Eargo 6 model. If you or your loved one has served, take advantage of this great deal!
Otofonix’s wallet-friendly hearing aids made it onto our best cheap hearing aids list for a good reason! When comparing Otofonix devices and prices to leading prescription hearing aid providers, we found this company offers excellent value. Their most affordable model starts at $248 for a single aid, and their most expensive model caps out at $1,590 per pair. The price includes the hearing aid, charging accessories or batteries to get you started, and hearing aid accessories like cleaning supplies, a travel case, domes, and sound tubes. This company also regularly offers sizable discounts for holidays or specials, so keep an eye out for deals if the price is still on the higher end of your budget.
Of the providers on this list, Otofonix gives seniors with mild to moderate hearing loss the most bang for their buck. Otofonix’s low prices, free shipping, financing plans, and complimentary accessories add up to big savings. These streamlined hearing aids are easy to operate, even if you’re not tech-savvy. Check out our hands-on review of Otofonix to learn more about this provider.
Pro Tip: Our hearing aid buying guide walks you through hearing tests, purchasing options, and how to fine-tune your hearing aids.
Our top FDA-registered OTC hearing aid contenders for mild to moderate hearing loss were chosen with great consideration. We evaluated a variety of criteria, including cost, battery life, features, and warranty.
We also included a list of our top picks for FDA-registered hearing aids that can be purchased online. We evaluated various criteria, including functionality, battery life, remote care, warranty, and cost. Online hearing aids will be more affordable than traditional hearing aids and come with support from audiologists. All of the devices on this list will be suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss only.
Hearing aids can make a world of difference in the quality of life for people with hearing loss. Untreated hearing loss can lead to isolation, and it has been associated with serious conditions such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, dementia, reduced mobility, and falls.3
Unfortunately, conventional hearing aids can be very costly, and not everyone can afford the doctor visit, let alone the devices. This is where the FDA’s OTC hearing aids may come into play. OTC hearing aids are for individuals aged 18 and over who suffer from mild to moderate hearing loss. These self-fitting hearing aids don’t require a hearing exam, an audiologist’s review, or approval from a medical practitioner, resulting in a more affordable price point.
In the video below, Jeff Hoyt, editor-in-chief of SeniorLiving.org, speaks with Dr. Ruth Reisman, a licensed audiologist and hearing aid dispenser, about the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act and how it could help millions of Americans.
The FDA’s OTC hearing aid category aims to make hearing aids more accessible and affordable. However, there are a few important considerations to be aware of, as you would most likely be responsible for:
Both OTC and online hearing aids don’t require a visit to the doctor or a prescription to purchase. However, online hearing aids differ from OTC, as online aids are dispensed through audiologists. When purchasing online hearing aids, you’re not receiving just a hearing aid. You’ll receive services like:
Still unsure whether OTC hearing aids for mild to moderate hearing loss are right for you? Let’s take a moment to weigh the potential pros and cons.
FYI: Personal sound-amplification products (PSAPs) are not the same as OTC hearing aids. PSAPs are intended for people with normal hearing to amplify sounds in certain situations, such as recreational activities.5 FDA-regulated OTC hearing aids will be clearly labeled as such on the exterior packaging.
Now that the FDA’s new hearing aid category has been approved, purchasing an OTC hearing aid may be as simple as stopping by your local drugstore. However, shopping can be a bit tricky if you don’t already know what to look for. To help you out, we’ve put together an explanation of a few important criteria to consider as you evaluate over-the-counter, online, and prescription hearing aid options.
Whether you’d prefer a traditional battery-powered hearing aid or a rechargeable model, your hearing aid is only as good as its battery life. It’s essential to find out how long your hearing aid will last. No one wants their hearing aid to lose power in the middle of a conversation!
The outer packaging for all OTC hearing aids will list if the battery is rechargeable or replaceable. If the battery is replaceable, the packaging will include how many batteries are needed (and if they are included).
It’s important to give yourself adequate time to adjust to wearing your new hearing aids. This is why a generous return policy is crucial. Before making your purchase, check the OTC hearing aid return policy. This policy is set by the retailers and manufacturers, not the FDA, so time frames will vary.
Small but mighty, hearing aids are built with tiny electrical parts. So, what happens if your hearing aids stop working? A solid warranty ensures that the manufacturer can repair or replace your hearing aid at no additional cost within a specific time frame.
You’ll likely spend many hours wearing your hearing aids, so choose a lightweight device for optimal comfort. It’s also critical to consider how your hearing aids will fit, feel, and look. Are you in the market for a discreet, practically invisible hearing aid, or would you rather have one that is larger but easier to operate? Consider these questions as you explore your options.
All OTC hearing aids must be self-adjusting with a user-adjustable volume control. This key feature allows you to tune the volume to fit your situation (e.g., louder in noisy environments, softer in quiet environments). However, advanced individual customizations for OTC hearing aids are not required by the FDA.
Are you tech-savvy, or do you prefer a more hands-on hearing aid approach? Some OTC hearing aids depend on wireless technology via a smartphone or a personal computer to program and adjust the hearing aid. Think about what type of OTC hearing aid will work best for you, and look for those product specifications on the packaging.
Inside Tip: Overwhelmed by the number of online and medical-grade hearing aids to choose from? Check out our best hearing aids list for the inside scoop on top-ranked hearing aids and their standout features.
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Ruth Reisman, AuD MBA, is a licensed audiologist and hearing aid dispenser in New York state and is certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association. After serving as an audiologist in the New York downstate hospital system, Dr. Reisman led the… Learn More About Dr. Ruth Reisman
Maureen joined SeniorLiving.org with more than 10 years of experience writing in health, lifestyle, and nutrition for premium brands like General Mills, Westinghouse, and Bristol Myers Squibb. Her passion for empowering older adults is evident in coverage of topics like retirement, health… Learn More About Maureen Stanley
Harvard Health Publishing. (2020). Tinnitus: Ringing in the ears and what to do about it.
Otofonix. (2022). Compare Hearing Aids.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. (2021). Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids – Who are OTC hearing aids for?
The White House. (2022, Aug 16). Statement by President Joe Biden on FDA Hearing Aids Final Rule.
U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2021). Hearing Aids and Personal Sound Amplification Products: What to Know.